Karmakar's new paintings are about interiors in two senses. They depict very personal acts taking place within the most intimate spaces of a home, namely the bedroom and bathroom. They are also representations of states of mind, of the inner being of the protagonists. Each canvas shows two figures which are but two portraits of the artist himself. His decision to split himself into both watcher and watched, active and passive, imbues the canvases with poignancy, accentuates the loneliness which permeates these images.
The paintings are charged with erotic tension which is deflected onto objects like bed sheets, clothes and photos on the wall, hinting that the people portrayed are unable to communicate or come to terms with their own emotions and desires. In one scene, the artist secretly observes a version of himself in female garb. That stance, of peeping out of the closet but not stepping out, is one we are tempted to attribute to the artist himself. But to make such a judgment would be to try and resolve the teasing ambiguity of the work which thrives precisely on its sense of irresolution. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.Kamala Kapoor